Kamil Kiewel

Submission from Poznań , Photographer


Kamil Kiewel is a photographer from Poznań, Poland. The series he shot for us features his muse Angie who he has known for 6 years and who he states has helped shaped who he is now. The photos were all shot within one hour before his trip home from Warsaw after attending an exhibition with his photography. He also plays guitar, makes beats, and soon plans to arrange himself a darkroom. Kamil finds that the solitude that comes with traveling for his work has tested him and encouraged him to learn about himself.





You mentioned Poznan and Warsaw. Where are you from, where do you live now and where are you going next?

I was born in Poznań and I have lived here ever since. Two years ago, I started my uni, I love my home city, but I feel a bit limited here. Of course, not in the wrong sense. I simply feel attracted to the world, I love to travel, to discover new places and flavours, to get to know other cultures. I mentioned Warsaw, because that is where I did that series with Angelika, we went there for two days to relax, take a breath, spend time in a completely different environment, a different city. And there was an exhibition where my picture was hanged, but it was only an impulse to take a break. In the future, I would like to go somewhere far away, completely change the surroundings, visit all the places that I have in my head.


The roll has been shot in the last hour before your train back, early in the morning. Can you tell us about that last hour? 

A funny thing with this last hour, the photos were really supposed to be made a few hours earlier, in the evening – I had a completely different concept then. But the sequence of events decided for me. We got wet, we got lost in Warsaw, and we came back really late, so after a beer and some delivered we let loose. It sounds perfect to shoot something with a disposable camera, but in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t. We got up late, we had about an hour or two before the return train. The atmosphere of Warsaw, the morning and the flat we rented somehow worked.


Who is the girl in red?

It's Angie. A girl I’ve known for almost 6 years. But I’ve only begun to get to know her like 3 years ago. There’s something special and specific between us. In a sense, she drove me to the place where and who I am now. Sometimes it happens that we meet an electrifying person on our way and this person changes the way we look at the world. So, she’s one of those people. It’s not like she has ever convinced me to change my views on things, or showed me which way to go; no, she’s just there. She’s a common denominator for a lot of paths and experiences that I’ve gone through. A muse, that might be the closest word to define her, but it’s not compatible 100%. Apart from that sensuality and mystery she’s hiding all the time, that she emanates, there is something more in it: she gives me a sense of peace and relief. And after all, I’m happy you had seen the pictures before you read what I think about her. I wonder how you had imagined her before you read about my feelings. This is important in photography, the first feelings and imaginations.


What is your relationship to distance?

Some time ago I would have a big problem with distance. I did not like being alone, I would stick to the ground I knew. Now it is completely different. Being alone all the time, away from people who are important to me, is difficult – I feel lonely, and just bad. Only recently I’ve learnt to deal with it. I worked in Greece for 4 months, I somehow grew up, it is no longer such a big issue for me as it used to be. But still, after all it’s not my pair of shoes. I’ve discovered one pro in being alone for some time: I can get to know myself better, my own habits and weaknesses. This is also important because we struggle with ourselves. I would love to tour Iceland alone. Test myself. Get together with my own self.


In 10 years, I meet you again, where are you?

Hard to know. To be honest, I don’t know what will happen in my life in the next 6 months. I wish I could continue doing what I do, but with much larger experience background.


What is photography to you?

The decisive moment. Something happens only once. At the very moment, the paths of everything in front of the viewfinder cross in one and the same place, at that particular time. The photo you take captures that moment. You testify on something that will never happen again, but it will be documented in your photograph forever. And personally, photography allows me to express myself in a certain way, speak about my feelings and turn them into something tangible. I tried to make music, you know, but now photography is the trigger for me.


Your idea of happiness? 

Feeling free.


Your idea of misery? 

loneliness, having no passion in life.


If not yourself, who would you be?  

I wouldn’t like to be anyone. I think It’s very important we accept ourselves and look at the world independently, to seek our own paths, and explore things by ourselves. I try to live my life, without looking up to other people; to create my own story.


Your heroes? 

My parents.


What is your present state of mind? 

I would like to go somewhere.


Bedside table books? 

Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński - Spojrzenie


What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? 

I listen to music, or try to do some myself.


Do you collect? 

Not really, although I’m very sentimental. It will be so deep, but I’m definitely more focused on collecting memories. That’s why, photography is the medium that expresses me somehow.


Tea or coffee? 

I have never drunk coffee in my life. Seriously.


What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That if I do a squint and someone scares me, my eyes will just stay like that.


A color? 



A city? 



What are your plans for this weekend? 



A song? 

Clock Machine - Sense of Space


Right or left handed? 



What is the best dish you can cook? 

Tortilla, but my own. With vacuum packed salami, Bolognese sauce from a French supermarket, fried on a gas cooker during the trip around southern Europe. But to be serious, I can’t cook, this tortilla is the only thing I can do.


What is your middle name? 



What do you do in your free time? 

I play guitar, I make beats on ableton, I photograph and soon, I will be arranging my own photographic darkroom and study.


What inspires you? 

Hard to say. It can be anything. Actually, the music has the biggest impact on me. But it doesn’t mean I’m blind to other things.


What do you do for money? 

I study. I do have some money from an art scholarship, sometimes I make a little on the side on photography.


What do you do for pleasure? 

Putting my hands under stream of hot water in the morning.

Alaia ManleyComment